September 1, 2023 - The Starting Point

The week was going to be routine, heading into Labor Day weekend.

Some friends were scheduled for a weekend visit, so we were preparing for guests when, on Tuesday night, August 31, 2021, I started feeling like a sinus infection was coming on, which is not unusual for me. I woke Wednesday morning, September 1st, feeling worse, so I found an over-the-counter COVID test and took the test as a precaution before our friends arrived. Much to my dismay, I tested positive for Covid. I remember the emotions, all the people I had been around the previous weekend: family, church, grandchildren. What if I had infected them all?

My first call was to Shari at work. I told her that the test was positive, and I was calling my doctor, and then I began calling everyone I could remember being in contact with in recent days. When she came home from work, she tested negative and was feeling fine; the next day, Thursday, September 2, she began feeling sick and tested positive. Our world and that of all who knew Shari changed that day. The road through grief has no end...We went through the weekend quarantined at home, not feeling great but not feeling too bad either. We both slept a lot, ate a little bit, and tried to rest and drink fluids. On Monday, I felt I was on the rebound, but Shari began to feel worse with each passing day. That is how September 2021 began, and so began my Walk-Through Grief.

Each day since September 1, 2021, has been different than any I had ever imagined for this season of life. But God knew what lay ahead, and He still knows. I continue to walk day by day, living in the light of His love and grace. Though I will always miss Shari, she has a place in my heart that belongs to her and always will. I have learned to live life without her daily presence. God’s joy and hope are alive in my heart as I continue to pursue His purposes and plans for my life. There are countless new friends in my life, new ministry opportunities that have opened for me, and lots of laughter and adventures that lie ahead. Grief changes a person; it can make one wiser, stronger, more empathetic, and sympathetic.

Grief can also bring one to the lowest levels as we travel through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but thankfully, we don’t have to remain there.

Some have asked why I haven’t been posting as much about my grief journey. One, life has been very busy and demanding, and time has been short. A second reason is that the grief journey has been rather routine most days. The road has no end, but it has seemingly flattened with fewer ups and downs. As I head into the two-year mark of Shari’s death, I am sure there will be some very raw moments; they are part of the healing journey.

As always, thanks for your love, support and prayers! Blessings to all!!!

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